Most helpful critical review
Disappointment after the first 2 novels
on 23 April 2014
Firstly, I should state that despite my many problems with this novel I did get enjoyment out of it and plan to read the next one (partly because I felt this novel was merely a set up for the fourth instalment, and partly because I have the 4 book box set so I may as well make use of it). I think it is also worth noting that I do not think I am reading these in the order they were written, but in the order of the box set, so some of my misgivings may be related to that.
This is the third novel I have read in this series. While I have had minor gripes in the back of my head with the previous 2, these were often undefined. This time however they stuck out too much to ignore, even one of the characters hit on it. They were going to fix things with a deux ex machina. I would have liked to have seen them use their minds, rather than rely on advanced robots, abilities humans of present day do not have, or the ability to change themselves into something else.
This is not the first book in which most, if not all of the main characters have been killed, then miraculously revived by a character who has shown no abilities beyond other people of this futuristic time.
The author in this novel had some potentially great ideas, but it felt as if he was getting bored of each one mid way through the implementation and jumping to something different without the padding to catch me as I fell through the plot hole.
In each book more types of inventions, creatures and robots have been introduced. I have had little issue with this as I felt, while often not implemented as well as they could have been, these have added to the story and felt like likely progressions in a human race who have advanced so much. However, in this novel it felt as if a new species was invented, the rules for many previous ones were ripped out from under our feet, and while I tried to regain my balance they were all put in a blender and attributes switched between them. For example I felt in some places the androids had more emotion than the humans.
All of that aside the ending, what I hope is a permanent resolution for the group of "purists", people who decided not to become part machine made me smile. All too often they seem to be treated as lesser individuals, sometimes feeling like the author's political statements on certain groups of our society under a thin veil.
I am disappointed to have to give this a 2.5, rounded to a 3 for the sake of reviewing sites.